Tuesday 12 December 2017

Shane Dowling insists Na Piarsaigh won't lose focus

Shane Dowling
Shane Dowling
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

LIMERICK and Na Piarsaigh star Shane Dowling insists that club manager Sean Stack's decision to take a back seat ahead of their Munster final clash against Sixmilebridge will have no impact on their preparations.

Stack is reluctant to take charge of the city side as they take on his native club, with whom he won seven county titles and a Munster championship as a player.

It's not the first time the former Clare hurler has faced such a dilemma. Back in 1993 he was still playing for Sixmilebridge when they met the side he was then managing, Toomevara, in the Munster championship.

Dowling (right), who has been superb for Na Piarsaigh as they look to secure their second AIB provincial title in three years, insists the Limerick champions will prepare as usual.

"Sean has said nothing about it. It's just heads down and train hard now for us," he said.

Na Piarsaigh have showed remarkable character in their provincial campaign, recovering from deficits to see off Tipperary's Loughmore Castleiney and Waterford's Passage when they looked dead and buried.

"With the conditions that have been brought against us, it's been hard to put in a good performance," said Dowling. "It's just about digging out a result, showing a bit of character. I think we've done that so far.

"We're a young team but we've still been there. We have a bit of experience from two years ago. We know that the Munster club championship isn't about summer hurling; it's about being down in the dirt and getting the result."

Dowling welcomed Limerick's appointment of TJ Ryan and Donal O'Grady as joint-managers and pointed to Clare as an example of what the Treaty men can achieve.

"You have to respect them (Clare)," he said. "We beat them in 2012 so they have obviously progressed a lot. It's hard to do. We haven't done it since 1973 (All-Ireland title) and they hadn't done it since 1997. Hard work pays off and Clare are the prime example."

Irish Independent

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